Jeff Dern said, "Its the best natural high you can get!" That's how he described the feeling of throwing the perfect game in the Sunday Mixers League at Fair Lanes Southdale on Oct. 14.
It's a storybook finish that Jeff and his wife, Jessica, will remember for a lifetime. A lefty, Dern started the march with a 178, made an adjustment and fired a 267. And then he threw 12 strikes in a row for his first 300 game and an excellent 745 series.
Dern started bowling when he was 13 but gave up the game when he was 15.
After an eight-year absence Dern took up bowling again last year. He had stopped bowling because he felt his game was going downhill and he had lost interest. In addition, he didn't feel that he was controlling his mental outlook. It seems that he has overcome his problems. His skills now seem to work better than they did 10 years ago.
Last year, after that long layoff, Dern averaged 184. Currently his average is 183. Bowling just the one night a week, Dern previously had shot a 288 game and a 759 series.
The 25-year-old Dern has worked at the Tire Plus in the Lake Shore Plaza as a mechanic for the past four years.
Asked what was going through his mind in the 10th frame of that perfect game, Dern replied, "I tried to think of something else. I've been close before, several times, and I just tried to keep relaxed. I knew I could hit the pocket. I was praying that I would get the carry. After the 12th ball took all the pins into the pit, I couldn't control it anymore and all the emotion poured out."
I guess that is the "best natural high you can get."
Jeff Dern isn't the only bowler getting high scores at Southdale. His 300 game was the fourth in Southdale's history and the second in the past three months. Milt Walker had his 300 game on July 31. And on the same lanes, No. 1 and 2, but Walker is right-handed. Other perfect games at the Pasadena center were by Rich Shepley and Phil Shady.
The lanes were resurfaced and the back ends rebuilt at Southdale last summer, and some other fine scores have resulted. Early in the 1990-1991 season in the Southdale Men's Classic League, Pat Gaguer had 264/731; Tony Kreiner 723; Dennis Scott 278-267/720; Gary Shawn 707; Jerry Cook 274 game.
The Fair Lanes Southdale team of Gaguer, Scott, Leo Saffran, Joe Jenkins and lefty Mike Herz currently has the high scratch team game of 1095 and series of 3208, shot on separate occasions.
High averages in the league are Kreiner 208, Gauger 206, Scott 204 and Bob Marian 201.
In the Westinghouse League, Don Zimmerman owns the high set, 715 (266 game) and has the high average, at Southdale, with a lofty 217. Jim Linton carries a 207, Ken Varley 205, and Gordon Schmeir, 203. The Bad Boys team hold high scratch set of 3136 and high game 1059.
In Monday night's D.R.S. Classic three-man league, southpaw Cliff Brown has high average with 213 and a four-game set of 896. Second in average is Rick Sikorski's 202. Mel Steward has the high game, 278, in the Tuesday Early Mixed.
Don't forget, Saturday, Nov. 3, Southdale Lanes will present the second annual "Halloween Party Sleep-Over." Call Roger Hara at 768-2762 or Fair Lanes Southdale at 761-1300. The party is open to youths 17 and younger; ticket price is $20. That's eight hours of bowling, five hours of a live disc jockey and all-you-can-eat pizza, soda, banana splits, doughnuts and orange juice in the morning. It's sponsored by the Church of the Crucifixion Youth Group.
The weekend of Oct. 13 and 14 was a big one for Trudi Maseman of Millersville.
Maseman bowls in two leagues at Bowl America Odenton, the Holiday Mixed on Tuesday and the Atlantic City League on Friday. They call it the Atlantic City because (you guessed it) at the end of the year the leagues head for Atlantic City and some saltwater taffy. She's been bowling for about 18 years now and carries a 154 average with a high game of 235 and a high set of 616. And she picked her spot to throw that 616 set.
At Forest Hill Lanes, Forest Hill, Md., in the National Amateur Bowler Inc. tournament Maseman took first place and the $1,000 prize money with that 616 series.
What did she have to say about her big day? "I couldn't have done it without John Fowler's coaching and moral support," she said.
John Fowler is the manager at Bowl America Odenton and Maseman's boss.
He's also her bowling coach and close friend. Fowler, who is a very good bowler, is also a pretty good coach -- if you go by Maseman's stunning victory in the NABI tournament.
Maseman was born near Indianapolis but has lived in the county since 1983 and does most of her bowling at Bowl America Odenton, where she is the relief manager and does promotional work for the center. And she's a legal secretary.
In the Tuesday Night Scratch League at Severna Park, Matt Heinz had games of 147, 171, 153 for a fine 471 series. Other high games and sets were: Joey Fox 178/440; Theresa Pearson 153/426; Jeff Bacon 153/426; Ralph Gaddi 148/425.
This is week eight in the season and Mike Davidson is still averaging 152.
Peggy Tully, spokeswoman for Greenway Bowl in Odenton, dropped me a line about the Bowl-A-Thon, which was conducted Sept. 18, to raise money for Joey Mikes.
Joey Mikes is the son of Sgt. Jeff Mikes, who is stationed at Fort Meade. Joey is 2 years old and needs a heart transplant. Total pledges at the Bowl-A-Thon came to $22,000. That heart transplant is going to cost a lot more than that. If any of you bowlers want to chip in for Joey, you can send a donation to: Sgt. Mikes c/o Dottie May, 7905-B Jenninap Court, Fort Meade, Md., 20755.
*Donald G. Vitek's Bowling column appears every Thursday in the Anne Arundel County Sun. Bowlers are urged to give Don a call with scores and tidbits at 247-0850.